The cuticle skin around your nails is very thin and sensitive and is prone to easily and quickly becoming very dark and pigmented. And because of this a lot of individuals have very dark cuticles.
So that’s why in this article we are going to discuss the causes of dark cuticles and share with you some tips to both treat and prevent dark cuticles around your nails.
What causes Dark Cuticles
They are many causes for dark cuticles such as:
- Cuticles have been damaged and dried out due to exposure to harsh chemicals such as detergent, bleach, and hand sanitizers, and even conditions such as cold weather can affect your cuticles.
- Poor diet and not drinking sufficient water – A deficiency in Vitamin B12 has been shown to lead to hyperpigmentation in some areas such as your cuticles. And not consuming water can affect the health of your skin.
- Cuticles were damaged – this can cause your cuticles to increase melanin production leading to hyperpigmentation similar to how scars tend to be darker than your usual skin tone.
- Skin Conditions – certain skin conditions such as infection, psoriasis, and eczema can lead to your cuticles becoming inflamed and darker.
- Genetics – some individuals are born with a predisposition to easily develop hyperpigmentation.
- Allergic Reactions can cause the skin around your nails to become irritated which can lead them to become darker.
Thankfully in most cases, your cuticle can be healed and returned to a healthier appearance. These are 7 tips that have worked best to improve the cuticles for myself and my clients.
1- Moisturize Your Cuticles & Fingers
The most important thing you can do to treat and prevent dark cuticles is to consistently moisturize them.
Moisturizing your cuticles will prevent them from becoming damaged and dry. And cuticles that are dry and damaged tend to become pigmented very fast.
If your cuticles are very dark I recommend applying a good cuticle oil or moisturizer every time you wash your hands. And after a few weeks, your cuticles will be a lighter and more even tone.
I recommend using a good cuticle oil or serum to help repair the damaged cuticles.
Now once your cuticles are healthy and look normal you can just add moisturizing your cuticles as part of your daily skincare routine. I moisturize my cuticles right before bed and after I have had a bath in the mornings.
Most moisturizers and cuticle oils are not designed to lighten cuticles. This is why when we formulated our cuticle oil we added ingredients specifically to help lighten your dark cuticles such as Niacinamide, Vitamin E Oil, and Hyaluronic acid.
You can click here to check out our new 5 in 1 Cuticle Oil on Amazon. Also if you purchase one you will help to us to continue making more articles and videos, so thank you very much.
Related Article – 7 Amazing Benefits of Using Cuticle Oil – As Per Science
2- Protect Your Cuticles from Harsh Chemicals & Conditions
The cuticle skin is very thin and thus very sensitive to certain chemicals and conditions that can damage them which causes them to become pigmented.
Chemicals such as strong detergents, bleach, hand sanitizers, and acetone all take a toll on your cuticles. This is why I recommend:
- Wearing gloves when doing any activity such as cleaning or doing the dishes that might expose your cuticles to harsh chemicals.
- Always moisturize your cuticles after doing anything that may dry them out such as using hand sanitizers or after applying or removing your manicure.
Certain harsh conditions can also affect your cuticles which can cause them to get darker. Conditions such as:
- Bad weather such as extreme cold can cause your cuticles to dry out, crack and even bleed which will make them pigmented. Always moisturize and wear thick gloves when it’s cold to protect your cuticles and hands.
- Cooking – heat from steam can damage and irritate your cuticles. I recommend wearing cooking gloves.
- Gardening – Using your bare hands when gardening can easily lead to your cuticles becoming damaged which will make them more pigmented. To avoid this just wear thick gardening gloves.
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3- Avoid Cutting Your Cuticles
Cutting your cuticles is one of the easiest ways to make them get darker. This is because when you consistently cut your cuticles you cause them to grow back thicker and darker.
This is similar to how scars on your skin tend to be more pigmented. Now the best way to keep your cuticles neat and tidy and how to prep them before a manicure is to apply some oil to them and then use a cuticle pusher to gently push them back.
Pushing back your cuticles will give you the same benefits as cutting them but it will not break the skin tissue. Instead, it will over time train the cuticle skin to stick within the cuticle area.
The only time you need to cut the cuticle is to remove hangnails. Hangnails are dead skin that is sticking out, you can cut them because they are not living tissue so removing them won’t cause scarring to occur.
Related Article – 5 Reasons Why You Need To Push Back Your Cuticles
4- Push Back Your Cuticles
Pushing back your cuticles will not only neaten them up and help your manicures to last longer but also helps to treat dark cuticles.
You see when you push back your cuticles you help to:
- Exfoliate and remove dead cuticle skin allowing new and healthier skin cells to grow.
- Increase blood flow in the cuticle skin helping to promote the flow of oxygen and nutrients leading to healthier cuticles.
Now you don’t need to always use a cuticle pusher. I usually push back my cuticles when I shower, I apply cuticle oil, soap, and warm water to my cuticles and use my fingers to gently push them back.
Related Article – How to Correctly DIY Push Back Your Cuticles With No Pain
Video – Cuticle Care
5- Stay Hydrated & Get Your Vitamins
Not drinking enough water on a day-to-day basis can and will take a toll on your skin and is even more likely to affect your cuticles because of how sensitive they are.
This is why it is essential that you drink your recommended 8 glasses of water a day and more if you can.
Also your diet plays a role too studies have shown that a deficiency of Vitamin B12 can lead to hyperpigmentation, especially in the cuticle area. One way to know if your dark cuticles are caused by a lack of Vitamin B is to check if your knuckles are heavily pigmented too. Citation.
If you suspect your cuticles are dark from a Vitamin deficiency you can take a Vitamin B12 supplement and you can also try to eat foods such as eggs, fish, meat, and dairy.
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6- Exfoliate Your Fingers & Cuticles
Gently exfoliating your Hands, Fingers, and Cuticles will help to lighten your cuticles it does so by:
- Removing dead cuticle skin cells which will allow new cuticle skin to grow back. New cuticle skin cells will be healthier and have a more even complexion.
- Pushing more blood to circulate in that area, allows for more nutrients and oxygen to help promote healthier cuticles.
You can exfoliate your fingers and cuticles with a simple scrub. One simple scrub that I love for my fingers and cuticles is to:
- Mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Then mix until it becomes a thick paste
- Apply the paste onto your fingers and then gently rub in a circular motion
- Finally, rinse off with warm water
Another great way to exfoliate your cuticles is to get a paraffin wax manicure. A paraffin wax manicure is where your hands are dipped into warm paraffin wax which then dries and then is peeled off.
Paraffin wax will help to lighten your cuticles by exfoliating, moisturizing, and helping to increase blood flow in your cuticle area.
7- Give Your Nails & Cuticles a Break From Manicures
Manicures are lovely but they do take a toll on the skin around our nails. This is because every time we get a manicure and get them removed our skin is exposed to a lot of harsh chemicals such as acetone, nail primers, dehydrators and monomers.
All of these chemicals can irritate and damage our cuticles and cause them to become pigmented.
This is why I always take breaks from manicures and go natural for 1-2 weeks to give my nails and skin a chance to recover. A good rule to go by is after 3 consistent manicures you should take a break.